After anti-tank fire, Gaza border roads get new protective walls

Security project had been started, but was incomplete when an Israeli killed was last month as missile fired by Hamas blew up his car

A section of the new protective barrier erected on roads bordering Gaza to protect Israeli drivers and farmers from bullets and missiles. (Channel 12 screen capture)
A section of the new protective barrier erected on roads bordering Gaza to protect Israeli drivers and farmers from bullets and missiles. (Channel 12 screen capture)

Defense contractors on Wednesday completed a new section of protective wall on the Gaza border intended to prevent the direct firing of missiles at farmers, soldiers and civilians, Channel 12 news reported.

The barrier that prevents terrorists in Gaza from seeing movement on the Israeli side of the border was erected after an Israeli civilian was killed in hostilities last month when his car was struck by an anti-tank missile fired by Hamas terrorists.

The roughly 100 million shekel ($28 million) project will be fully funded when a new government is formed after the September 17 elections, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the project to move ahead now, the report said.

Moshe Feder, 68, was killed as he was driving along a road near the border that remained open despite other roads being closed and passenger train service stopped for days because of their exposure to gun and missile fire from Gaza.

Israelis gather near a car that was hit by an anti-tank guided missile fired from the northern Gaza Strip, which killed the driver, near Yad Mordechai in southern Israel, on May 5, 2019. (Jack GUEZ / AFP)

In early May the military erected a concrete barrier around a section of road just north of the Gaza Strip where Feder was killed when a Kornet anti-tank guided missile struck his car.

At the time, the Israel Defense Force said it also planned to construct earthenware barriers, pave alternative roads and put up additional concrete walls to provide protection from such attacks in the currently exposed area.

The project includes barriers and security devices along the route of the commuter train that connects the Gaza communities with the center of the country. The route was closed during the hostilities because terrorists had a direct line of sight if they wanted to attack it.

The plan was apparently approved nearly a year ago, but had been “stuck,” Channel 12 reported. A senior defense official told Channel 12 last week he hoped Feder’s death would help accelerate the construction of the barrier.

Blue and White Party Knesset member Alon Shuster, former chairman of the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council where the attack took place, sent a letter to the government committee in charge of the project demanding that community heads of security in the area be involved.

Shuster said the security chiefs felt the danger posed by the exposure to shooting from Gaza was threatening the area that has been hard hit by daily incendiary bombs launched from Gaza that sparked dozens of brush fires.

“The depressing situation has led some of them, people whose defense work is their daily bread, to declare that they are only going to put out fires caused by incendiary balloons if they constitute an immediate mortal danger,” Shuster said.

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